PETER JACKSON has important transfer talks lined up before Town's Carling Cup assignment at Reading tomorrow (8.00).
The Town chief is meeting with Lee Fowler's representatives about making the 20-year-old's loan move to the McAlpine from Coventry a permanent one.
Fowler - who will be suspended for the FA Cup-tie at Accrington after collecting his fifth booking of the season in Saturday's 2-1 League win against Carlisle which pushed Town up to seventh - missed training at Storthes Hall yesterday because of an ankle complaint.
So, too, did leading scorer Jon Stead, whose 11th goal of the season sealed a sixth successive home win, and wing-back Tony Carss.
Jackson, however, expects to name an unchanged side against Steve Coppell's First Division side in the third-round Madejski Stadium clash.
"It's a good opportunity down there to meet with Lee's people and we'll have to see if we can sort something out," said the manager, who will take no disciplinary action against Steve Yates for his sending off at half time against Carlisle.
"Lee is with us until the beginning of November and we want to keep him here if possible, so we'll look at the finances and see if Lee's wish to stay can come about."
Jackson will be forced to make changes after tomorrow night as Jon Worthington is suspended for the trip to Scunthorpe and Yates will start a three-match ban at Accrington and miss the games against leaders Hull City and Mansfield.
Yates was red-carded with Carlisle's Ritchie Foran for violent conduct after a tunnel bust-up between the two.
"We knew our squad would be used to the full and it's up to those on the fringe to step up and do well," said Jackson, whose side face four straight away trips.
"First priority is the Reading game. I watched them at Sheffield United on Friday and they strong and well organised, so it's far from an easy tie.
"No-one gives us a hope, but we can go there and enjoy it because all the pressure is on Reading. If they take us lightly, then we've got every chance of doing to them what we did to Derby and Sunderland."
On Saturday's win, Jackson added: "We have achieved our first objective of making the McAlpine a fortress and I'm delighted with the points, even though we were forced to hang on at the end."